Former UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir was recently interviewed by Chris Van Vliet to talk about several professional wrestling topics.
Here are the highlights:
How his relationship with Austin Aries helped him transition to wrestling:
And then I think the next evolution of it was — guys keep trying to make breaks into pro wrestling, and there’s always been a bit of an animosity, or a rivalry I should say, between professional fighters and wrestlers, professional wrestling, and I never really understood why because it would be like me being mad at Keanu Reeves, ‘Well. You’re not a real guy. What are you doing?!’
Well, hold on, man. This is a different platform for entertainment. You’re entertainer too. You’re not just walking around beating the hell out of people. You’re putting on a pair of shorts. People are paying to show up to be entertained by your ability to fight. There’s rules to this. It’s still a sport.” “And then under that guise, I realized, ‘Well, professional wrestling is the same as making movies.’
It’s a different genre or different medium, as in it’s all martial arts. So then, I told him I have an interest in trying it out. I’ve been doing standup comedy. Why not? Let me go out there and try.
How he apologized to Austin Aries after they started training together:
So, I went to the gym with him. We went to Future Stars of Wrestling here in Vegas, and the first practice, I actually interrupted him about halfway through. It was like, ‘Dude, I apologize. I never had a clue how much there is to this.’ Because it was funny. I actually said something to him leading up to it that was insulting, and I didn’t realize I was being insulting, which Austin contrary to belief is not a constant ***hole.
He actually let me off the hook with it because when he was like, ‘You’re only going to need to learn certain spots. You’re only going to need to learn these aspects of my craft.’ And my answer to that was like, ‘No. I want to learn it at all.’ Being genuine, being like, ‘No. I don’t want to take shortcuts because I already established a name. Let me learn everything.’ That’s what I meant by it. But then I realized I’ll never learn everything there is about what he’s learned in 20 years. Just like if Austin were to tell me, ‘Hey man, I want to learn everything you know in the next six months!’
It would be an insult. Like, ‘Really? I’ve been doing this since I was four years old. You think in six months you’re going to know everything I know. Impossible.’ But he realized I was just being humble and not being a dick, which I’m glad because a lot of people could’ve taken it that way. So, that’s then I told him, ‘I’m sorry. I apologize. You’re right. There is no way I’m even a quarter of everything there is to learn about this craft.
His plans to work more wrestling after the Bloodsport matches:
Yeah. Yeah, I just think those opportunities came for me working at the Bloodsport and then the event they had here, the Future Stars of Wrestling event that Austin will actually be on next weekend. Those are easy transitions because it’s just [grappling]. That I do every day. I roll with guys all the time, so it’s like, ‘Alright. I can roll with a person who weighs 120 pounds,’ and if I feel what you’re doing, I can go with the throws and maneuvers.
I know how to be a good partner and work. So, that wasn’t hard. There’s no ropes. There’s no having a cell really. So, I didn’t want to fool anybody and go, ‘I’m ready to jump into a full-blown match.’ Well no, if I can start being in that genre and start to move and take those baby steps, why not? You know, the equivalent of you’re starting a professional fight career, it’s like, ‘Alright. It’s your first fight. You’re going to wear headgear. There’s no elbows.’
Alright, you’re making steps towards what you’re trying to do. Then why not? There’s so many moving factors and so many moving parts, the more you can eliminate certain aspects of it to focus on and increase and add to your plate as you get better.
His wrestling plans for 2020; working indy matches:
Yeah, I think that’s actually the area right now just because — I was also talking to Austin too about [working] tag teams is easy, also too a method in because … I’ve gotten to watch a couple of Austin’s matches from the outside, but I think being in there and being with someone who’s a veteran knowing what they’re doing, I wish we could take him into MMA and [have] me do it. ‘Hey. We’re going to have a 2-on-1 fight. I’m going to do 80 percent of the work.
You just jump in there, and you’re going to be in here and get to learn.’ Like what an advantage to take over. But MMA doesn’t really afford that. There’s certainly parts of Russia where you can do it, but for the most part, in the pro wrestling world, I can watch and see how things are being done and take these intermediate steps, so I can build up a legitimate repertoire.
H/T 411Mania for the transcriptions